You can quickly search online and find lots of articles on camping; telling you what to take, wear or tips to make it easier. I’ve read many of them myself! I hope you find a few things in this post that you haven’t read anywhere else.
1. Have a Plan B and a Plan C… and if all these fail, be prepared for spontaneity.
Our original plan was designed around locations with gorgeous waterfalls. What we didn’t realize was that a recent lack of rainfall had dried all of them to a trickle (not really worth hiking miles to see that!). Ironically, the week we chose to camp was the end of the drought and we had torrential rain for 6 of the 7 days. We had to come up with a new destination, while trying to outrun the rain.
2. Don’t set your expectations too high.
Was it reasonable or realistic to assume we could camp for 12 days with a (soon-to-be) Kindergartener and a toddler? Ummm… in hindsight, probably not. BUT we survived 7 days, in pouring rain and excessive heat, so I consider that a huge success!
3. Have TONS of snacks… and keep some with you EVERYWHERE.
I have two little boys so not much more explanation is needed on this.
4. Take a Rubbermaid tote.
Make sure you pack something in it that you will be using so that the tote is empty. A spare Rubbermaid tote makes for a fantastic bathtub or splash pool for little ones. (A large tote worked as a tub for my husband and I when we were desperate for a bath!)
5. Invest in QUALITY hiking boots AND good socks.
These two things will make a huge difference in the outcome of your trip. I am generally a very frugal shopper, but when it comes to hiking boots, I’ve learned the hard way that you get what you pay for. Cheap boots = blisters and misery. Same goes for cheap socks. Quality hiking boots are REALLY worth the money!!
I personally LOVE my Ahnu boots! (Link to similar ones from Cabelas) They are the only shoes I took for the entire week and they kept my feet dry and comfortable the whole time. Not a single blister! I especially love them because they do not need any “break-in time” either… perfect fit from the moment I laced them up!
Next post will include tips 6-10, so check back!
What are YOUR best tips for camping and/or camping with kids?